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Advice needed on breed options

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by terri1nd, Dec 18, 2014.

  1. terri1nd

    terri1nd In the Brooder

    May 4, 2008
    My granddaughter is in 4H & we were trying to figure out what would be a good egg laying breed for her, I am hoping for something with small combs, because we are in ND & hate to see their combs get frost bite. The 4H judge is really only interested in egg laying breeds, so looking for input from folks with more experience than me.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2014
  2. lilpeepers

    lilpeepers In the Brooder

    Apr 26, 2014
    Well, I'm sure you have more experience than me, but I'm partial to silkies, and my daughter (age 8) is too. They are great layers, cold tolerant and so sweet, especially when mature (they were skittish babies). They are gentle and easy to hold (light and docile, much less prone to wiggle/flap away). They don't eat much either, and their messes are smaller. We have EE's and love them too, but if I had to pick a chicken to work with intensively, it would definitely be a silkie.
  3. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    I've been raising chickens for 50 years (dozens of breeds including Silkies) and I have to respectfully disagree with lilpeepers about the Silkies lay rate. Silkies, while they are sweet, gentle, adorable, friendly, and funny little birds that make great lap pets, are not very good layers and their eggs are small. In addition, they frequently go broody during which time they don't lay at all (but they make great sitters and mothers). Based on your criteria (good layers and small combs), I would suggest Brahmas or Wyandottes. Both breeds are good layers with small combs (pea combs for the Brahmas, rose combs for the Wyandottes) that are virtually impervious to frostbite. You will get three to four large eggs per week per hen from these three breeds. Whatever breed you choose for your granddaughter's 4H, good luck with your flock. :eek:)
  4. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    I meant to say from these "two" breeds. Sorry about the typo.
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    Those are going to be your top choices, I believe. Of those I'd personally go with a Wyandotte, but it's a personal decision. Brahmas have feathered legs, so that's something to consider when housing show birds--you need a nice dry area. They also mature slowly.

    Buckeyes could be another breed to consider.

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